It’s that time of year again- although I can hardly believe it- where I reflect on the year passing and prepare for the new one approaching. It’s that time of year where I feel nostalgic, a tinge of sadness at just how fast time is going now and wondering how much I missed this year and what can I do better next year.
In February we had this conference and I have wrote about here before and I got a sort of theme to live out the remainder of the year: No Fear and to be enough. And really when I started dissecting what that meant in my life I knew that in God I need not be afraid and that when I was fearful I should instead turn to Him in prayer and faith.
I did this a lot but I also deceived myself into thinking that this would mean I would not have any fear this year- and that concept failed miserably.
A medicine I was taking gave me the worst headaches of my life, caused my eyes to do weird things, and made me afraid to go to sleep at night for fear I would not wake.
Insecurities plagued me as I internalized other’s feelings and thought it had something to do with me and I withdrew, put walls up back up that I had fought so hard in my life to take down. I was not very vulnerable- or available-this year.
Although never made official by a doctor, a bit of post-partum depression may have been in there too- there were many nights (and days) I would cry, was overly sensitive, and felt I was more of a bother for people than anything else. There were constant struggles in my mind that I had to fight, battles of fear that I often tried to overcome myself, all while knowing the answer was not in my capabilities but in Christ alone, the One who whispered to me first, “No fear.”
But there were things I did that made me afraid but I remembered to breathe deep and trust in God. I wrote letters to precious ones, bearing my soul to them. I wrote a book, finally preparing myself to really get my words on paper and maybe- just maybe- make something of them. All the times my thoughts were giving me doubts about these moments, I could hear His whisper, “No fear.” My hands were often shaking as I typed or wrote with pen, but in Him I was able to get the words out. So for all the things I was dealing with in my own melancholy mind He was working in me in other areas to show me that I really did not have to have fear.
I may have gotten part of it wrong but I know now that the no fear concept is His part, it is where He comes in to my worries and doubts and takes them away, for He is the Father of lights and where light is there can be no darkness. My part was to be enough- enough in Him, enough for Him, enough in how I view myself when for so long I thought I was never enough.
It’s like the light at the end of a tunnel, or the clearing after a storm. When you are in the thick of it things look a mess but when you step out and have a little clarity it all makes more sense.
Moving into the new year I couldn’t quite grasp what it was I felt I needed to focus on. The word “brave” kept coming back to me; this would be for me as God continued to work in the “no fear” part of my life. I realized that many of my fears have kept me from doing things I want to do and now is the time to be brave. Those moments I was trembling but trusted God and did it anyway this year? Those are the moments I least regret, the moments I look back on and say to the new things, “I can do this.” The words “quiet” and “calm” also came to mind. But the more I prayed about it and quietly reflected, I think that is just a part of being brave. It does not have to be some flagrant action, loud and announcing. Brave can be quiet, can be in the small moments too. Brave can, and I think will be this year, in the personal and intimate moments between God and myself, between my family and friends, and within my own heart and mind.
Brave. It does not mean I have to overcome all fear. God is capable of that and my faith in Him has to be enough. Brave means doing the things that make my hands and voice shake and believing that Jesus will guide me though it all.
Like one of my newly favorite books, Hinds Feet on High Places, I don’t have to be strong or powerful or even capable. My love for Jesus and His unending love for me will be enough. I don’t know all that will happen in the following year, but when I think of things planned and the things hoped for, a quiet bravery in Him is just what I need.